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Information and statistics about the health of mothers and their babies is important for monitoring and evaluating the provision and outcomes of maternity services and care in Australia.

National Perinatal Data Collection

The AIHW National Perinatal Data Collection (NPDC) is a national data collection of pregnancy and childbirth. Data are collected for each birth in each state and territory by midwives and other staff. The data are collated by state and territory health departments, and each year an extract is provided to the AIHW for compilation into a national dataset. This extract includes the Perinatal National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) and additional data items.

The Perinatal National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) is an agreed set of perinatal data items for mandatory uniform supply by states and territories to support national reporting. It includes data items relating to the mother, including demographic characteristics and factors relating to the pregnancy, labour and birth, and data items relating to the baby, including birth status, sex and birthweight.

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Australia's mothers and babies is the main report on data from the NPDC and is produced annually. The Perinatal dynamic data display complements this publication.

The Perinatal dynamic data display provides progressively released data from the NPDC. Several releases are planned and once completed, the data display will provide data for the entire maternal pathway, from demographics of mothers and babies through to the antenatal period, labour and birth, and outcomes for mothers and babies. Users can select different views of the data such as by state and territory, or maternal characteristics, for example, age, parity or ethnicity.

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Other publications

All mothers and babies and perinatal health reports

Maternity Information Matrix (MIM)

The Maternity Information Matrix (MIM) is a summary of data items in Australian national and jurisdictional data collections relevant to maternal and perinatal health.

The MIM documents data collection practices as at July 2013.

The MIM includes:

  • 45 data collections including perinatal collections, births and deaths, congenital anomalies and specialist collections
  • nearly 500 data items
  • metadata for each item including definitions and descriptions
  • data collection overviews with information about each collection

An update to the MIM will be available in 2016.

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The AIHW is working on a project to improve maternal and perinatal data. The aim of the project is to develop nationally consistent and comprehensive maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity data collections in Australia. The project is guided by an Advisory group consisting of experts in the fields of obstetrics, midwifery and statistics.

Reports on the findings of the project are available:

Foundations for enhanced maternity data collection and reporting in Australia: National Maternity Data Development Project - Stage 1

Enhancing maternity data collection and reporting in Australia: National Maternity Data Development - Project Stage 2

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The AIHW has developed a set of indicators to monitor the quality of maternity services across Australia. The specifications for 15 indicators have been finalised and endorsed by the heads of Australian Government and state and territory health departments.

Reports on National core maternity indicators are available:

National core maternity indicators (report)

National core maternity indicators – stage 2 report: 2007–2011

National Core Maternity Indicators stage 3 and 4 results from 2010–2013

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Related information

The AIHW also produces reports on the health, development and wellbeing of Australia's children.